Mosquito bites are itchy and annoying, but they can also be dangerous. In fact, mosquitoes kill more humans in a year than any other animal. Here in Canada, West Nile Virus is the most concerning mosquito-borne disease. While the chances of being infected are still slim in our part of the world, taking precautions to prevent mosquitoes and avoid bites, benefits everybody.
Summer is the time of year when ticks are most likely to transmit Lyme disease to humans. The blacklegged tick is the only one in the Toronto area that transmits the specific bacteria that causes lyme disease. Being able to identify these ticks and prevent them will be a huge advantage as you get out and enjoy nature this year.
Blacklegged ticks (ixodes scapularis) are small, anywhere from less than 2 mm to around 5 mm, depending on the life stage. Ticks are flat and oval-shaped with 8 legs, though newly hatched larval ticks only have 6 legs. Female ticks are orange and brown with dark legs, and male blacklegged ticks are reddish-brown in color. The nymphal stage occurs during the summer, and these are the ticks that cause most of the infections in humans. Nymphs are about the size of a pinhead. Ticks rely on blood to live and grow, so they are always on the lookout for an animal or human to feed on.
Signs of bed bugs can be hard to detect at first, and even more complicated to treat once you do find them. They are disgusting insects and having them in your home can be extremely unpleasant. Knowing the signs of bed bugs can help stop an infestation from getting out of hand, or even occurring in the first place. One reason it may be difficult to know whether or not you have bed bugs is that their bites can easily be confused with other biting insects like mosquitoes or fleas.
Many people are unaware of the major differences between bees and wasps and consider both of them equally formidable. This, however, is not the case. Despite looking similar in color and in physical characteristics these two insects are very different.
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